Portland Trail Blazers

Portland Trail Blazers

The future is here.

The Portland Trail Blazers have some new technology at their practice facility.

This isn’t just any equipment.

The ‘Noah Basketball Shooting System’ was installed at the Blazers' practice facility in Tualatin last month.

So what does a Noah System do?

It is designed to help basketball players with their shooting.

The system tracks players’ shots to give players and coaches feedback. This particular system in Portland has facial recognition. Video cameras are placed above the baskets, while computers are mounted on the wall that compile data to analyze a player’s shot technique based off of Noah’s scientifically proven and ideal shot.

Trail Blazer veteran Anthony Tolliver has used the system for nearly two years now. He believes in it so much that he has become a Noah System Ambassador.

“Every single shot that goes up it takes a little recording of it, and it also tells you exactly where your shot is. So, it tells you your shots’ arc, your shot depth, and your shot – right-left. It just tells you all the analytics behind each and every shot,” Tolliver said.

Noah Basketball claims its systems will:

1. Build Muscle Memory for the Perfect Shot

2. Motivate & Hold Players Accountable for Workouts

3. Improve Shooting Percentages and Consistency

“Over time, if you’re able to read the data, and understand it, that it can really help you become a better shooter,” Tolliver said.

Tolliver “fell in love” with the system, and being able to analyze all of his data.

 

He even has gone as far to install one at his gym back home.

According to Tolliver, John Carter, the CEO and Founder of Noah Systems, was in Portland a couple weeks before training camp to talk with the Blazers organization about the system.

Tolliver joined Carter for an informal meeting about the new technology.  They did a demo, while Tolliver discussed how he uses it, and why he thought it’s beneficial.

“Maybe I helped them push it over the top,” Tolliver said with a chuckle.

“Absolutely” this is where the NBA is going, Tolliver said confidently.

“It’s something that every team is always looking for a little bit of an edge, right? And so, we have it, and I think over half the NBA teams already have it. The other half is probably going to say, ‘well, we need it to just to make sure we don’t fall behind the curve,’ but it’s really up to the players to use it and to analyze the data so that we can use it to get better, and that’s what it’s really all about,” Tolliver said.

There’s a Noah System app that players are able to download and use to track all their data or as Tolliver explains it, a player can simply turn the machine on with audio to get live feedback:

“When you’re in the gym, you can turn on the actual feedback and it gives you immediate feedback. So, if I shoot a shot right now, it’ll say, ‘44’ or if I want it to say ‘shot depth’ it might say, ‘6.’ So, there’s an optimal spot for each one. Forty-five is the optimal number for the arc.”

Eleven is the optimal number for shot dept.

Zero is the optimal number for the direction of right-left.

The numbers are really all about helping with a player’s consistency.

“You can hone in on it, if you’re a guy that misses right-left a lot, you can just kind of get in the gym, get a bunch of shots -- hundreds, and hundreds of shots, and you can actually hear it. Every single shot and it will tell you, ‘hey you’re shooting it to the left, obviously you can see it, but it helps you to kind of hone in on trying to hit that and it really helps you to develop the muscle memory to be able to do it,” Tolliver said. 

Tolliver doesn’t believe in having to hit Noah’s ‘optimal numbers.’

“It’s really about more consistency then it is just about really nailing your exact number. I mean if you shoot a consistent 42-43, and you’re making it no one is gonna change your shot, right? You don’t want to change that up. So, as long as you’re consistent it’s going to help you become a great shooter,” Tolliver said.

Trail Blazer All-Star point guard Damian Lillard enjoys using the Noah System to see how his shots differ depending on where he shoots on the court. 

 

“It’s pretty cool being able to track your shots and your arc, and consistency and stuff like that. I think it helps create that situation where you see where you actually don’t shoot the ball well from on the floor or where you’re most comfortable, where you gravitate towards and stuff like that,” Lillard said.

This system is even more helpful for the young Trail Blazers.

Blazers' rookie Nassir Little has been one of the players who has been utilizing it the most.

“I use it for my arc, transitioning into the league, you know, you’ve got to get [your shot] up a little bit. My shot was a little bit flat initially. While using the system it gives you immediate feedback on the arc,” Little said.

Little went onto say, “You can kind of correct it right away. You want it to be in the mid 40s. So, if you hear numbers like 41-40, you know to get the ball up a little bit higher, so you can make that correction right away.”

This isn’t the first time Little’s used the Noah System. They had one installed at North Carolina, but he admitted he didn’t use it much in college.

“It definitely is the future. It has face recognition, so even throughout practice, it tells us the shots that we take during practice. It was tracking our shots at Summer League. It’s definitely the future of basketball. It’s getting more analytical,” Little said.

Analytic and stats nerds can rejoice with this system, while players hope to rejoice with a better shot after using it.